Whether you agree with Rebecca Brightly or not, but she thinks she has identified 22 ‘things’ dancers do that makes them rise to the top of the dance floor. Take a read and see if you find her tips useful. Even if you find one tip that make you a better performer – it was worth the read.
1. Overcome excuses about why they can’t practice. Ain’t no way you’re moving up if you can’t gain some momentum in your dance practice.
2. Take music seriously. If you need convincing, you’re not ready to advance.
3. Use both a mirror and video regularly in practice.
4. Analyze themselves on video. It may pain you at first, but the cringing doesn’t last for long.
5. Ignore the haters. If everyone likes you, you’re probably boring.
6. Learn to dance without a partner. If you can hold your own on the dance floor, nothing can stop you.
7. Strive to constantly make new discoveries about dancing (rather than waiting to be spoon fed the answers). This is a crucial part of developing your unique perspective and voice.
8. Seek out instructors/mentors they mesh with and who push them.
9. Practice the shit out of everything. Does this one need explaining?
10. Disregard their inner critics’ harsh thoughts. Your inner critic is just a little child trying to distract you from doing worthwhile things.
11. Take aches and pains seriously. Our world is full of promising dancers who ignored their injuries and failed to excel.
12. Develop a unique voice and perspective on dance. You’ll need to figure out what this means to you.
13. Work on hard things. Most dancers focus on what comes easy. Look for and practice moves and concepts that challenge you.
14. Listen to jazz [or insert your genre here] just for fun.
15. Test themselves regularly. Practice is not “the thing.” Do The Thing you actually want to do! Perform, enter comps, choreograph, teach, film dance videos—whatever calls to you. Go do lots of that, then do lots more.
16. Always work on improving fitness. Good muscular balance and aerobic conditioning augment your dance ability. If you’re looking for a place to start, try glute exercises.
17. Avoid shit talking, complaining, and making excuses. This type of negativity just holds you back. Jealousy and self-sabotage anyone?
18. Ignore their judgmental thoughts. We all have ’em, and they are terribly distracting.
19. Truly believe they can do it. It’s the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. You always have the ability to improve. Ponder that, take it to heart; it IS the truth.
20. Find friends who support them. Possibly the most confounding item on this list. Adults these days have a hard time finding good friends, don’t we? And then there’s the expectation that we should be able to do it all alone. Bullshit. Every successful person has a ton of support from their friends. This applies to dancers too.
21. Get consistent, accurate feedback during practice. Your partner, instructor, mirror, and video can all help.
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